Domaine Mathis Bastian, Remich, Luxembourg

Since arriving in Luxembourg, several years ago, I started to slowly improve my knowledge about wine – at least, I tried. I think that the main opportunity given by this country in the wine field is the coexistence of people of different nationalities who are bringing in their own culture including, thanks god, the wine.

As Italian, unfortunately, I had always this misconception about our supremacy and I have always considered other wine regions less attractive than mine. Honestly, recently, I had good demonstration this was not always the case.

Couple of weeks ago, in fact, we were invited for a private visit to the Domaine Mathis Bastian, located in Remich, on the Mosel valley. The village, if you don’t know – and it is pretty bad for you as it is a beautiful one -, it is less than 20 minutes driving from the city and offers several attractions, including boat cruises and a romantic path on the river.

To welcome M. and I at the Domaine we found Anouk Bastian, who lovely walked us though the vineyard before, inside the production line afterwards and at the wine tasting to conclude.

Discovering the Domaine Mathis Bastian was kind of surprising for us: it is a domaine with a history of 5 generations, which has an eradicated presence into the Luxembourg gastronomy, with their wines distributed among the most known upmarket restaurants in town. Luxembourgish wines are pretty celebrated among local people but for us expats are a bit a black hole.

Our arrival at the Domaine Mathis Bastian was breathtaking. The vineyard are uphill compared to downtown Remich and have a spectacular, fairy tale view, nothing to envy to some postcard landscapes from Champagne. The Domaine itself mixed old-fashion elements with artistic modern items: the idea of Anouk’s father, Mathis, who took personally care about the renewal work, was to keep the historical features of the main building, but mix it with linear, almost futurist elements of design. From the reception hall to the single tasting rooms, you can smell this great attention to details and this unconditional love for modern art items that appear here and there around the property. Most of these items have been designed specifically for the family and intend to give an idea of lights and comfort, you don’t find somewhere else.  The mixture between the old and the new, the arty and the lines, the dark wood and the wide windows creates a space deep, intense, enchanting. A place where you not only you come to satisfy your palate with the wine, but as well to entertain your soul.


Coming to the wines, we went through some of the most representative products of the Domaine Mathis Bastian. Their carte includes some very classic numbers, that are Luxemburger’s favorites, like the Cremant and the Riesling, and some fashionable, young and dynamic bottles, like Prelude Nanami, which name is an honour to the country, Japan, where the Auxerrois Mathis Bastian won the gold medal at Japan’s Sakura women wine award. Nanami in fact in Japanese means beautiful flowe or spirit of harmonies.

The wines we tasted and you can find below in the gallery had all the wow effect: I moved five hundreds miles away from my misconception about Luxembourgish wines. I found there intense notes, structured tastes, long lasting aromas.

My favorite number was definitely the Auxerrois 2015: while I have a strong inclination for “old” white, so I was not surprised to love the Riesling collection from 2005 and 2001, this wine enchanted my palate and I closed my eyes and pictured myself on a terrace, in the sunset, barefoot and happy. It is the perfect alternative to bubbles if you don’t like bubbles 🙂


Coming back to the Domaine, while their offer to the public is mainly concentrated on the wine – so they don’t offer in-house food service -, they are keen to organize private tasting events for limited groups to introduce you to the wines produced at the Domaine. Compared to other places I have visited, the characteristic that makes Mathis Bastian a must visit place is definitely the amazing conformation of the rooms. They offer not only a welcoming spaces for the tasting, but as well an incomparable view on the vineyard and a unique atmosphere. Said that, the tasting can be definitely combined with catering service and become real events, for families, companies or just friends.


The Domaine Mathis Bastian is open to the public from Monday to Friday, from 8 am to 12 and from 2 pm to 5.30 pm. Visits and tasting can be organized on appointment.

If you want to have a better chance to learn about the Domaine Mathis Bastian there are two occasions that cannot be missed:

– This week end the Domaine will held its Open Days, so it will be exceptionally open to the public Friday, Saturday and Sunday and you are welcome to pop in and try their delicious wines, from 2 pm to 6 pm. No invitation needed, nor entrance fee, so you just have to drive or catch a bus to Remich and show up!

– On November 16th, the Domaine will be present at the event Dubai meets Moselle at Cafesino, in Luxembourg City Centre, an exclusive event which will honor fine wines from Luxembourg, accompanied by oriental dishes. Few places left, hurry up to reserve yours!

Barefoot in Luxembourg will be at the Domaine on Saturday for the Open Days, so come and say hi. And if your week-end schedule is already full, don’t miss in the future the occasion to visit Domaine Mathis Bastian. You will fall in love with the elegant atmosphere surrounding the vineyard and will definitely be impressed by the charming taste of their wines, like we did!

 

 

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Back from holidays: Barefoot in Frangokastello

As you have probably noted from my Instagram feeds, I spent the last two weeks in Greece. My sister was getting married in Frangokastello, in the region of Sfakia, Crete, and I took the occasion for visiting (and eating!) around.

I have to say I was truly surprised by the place: I was anticipated Sfakia is a very rural region and I did not have to expect much. This is true – forget about Malia, Benindorm or Magaluf, and this time for a good reason!

Going out very often – as you see! – in Luxembourg, when I am travelling for my annual vacations, I rather prefer enjoying some relax. I love good food and wine, but I don’t look for posh places – those you have to dress up for getting in o queuing hours for a watered down (and pricey!) cocktail.

I landed in Chania airport with Ryanair from Franfkfurth Hahn and I spent my first night in the airport surroundings, at Areti Suites hotel. It has been a very comfortable solution as I had a late night flight and I was very tired. The hotel is just 5 minutes driving from the airport, rooms are conditioned and huge, and I was offered some local sweets and drinks and water. I had a typical Greek breakfast with calzoni and spanakopita the day after and then I was ready for my trip!

Frangokastello is about one hour and a half from Chania, of which only first 30 km are on the national road and the following part is on mountain roads with some sharp turns and breathtaking views – nothing too scary, I have to say, just be aware of goats travelling on your same way 🙂

The landscape, getting out from Chania, takes soon a different perspective. You find tiny villages in the middle of nowhere, with their colorful taverns and local people chatting on the doors.

Click this link!

Frangokastello is a small village on the beach, well known for its castle and with some intense touristic affluence over summer. The temperature was still comfortably hot, above all compared to Luxembourg. A mild marine wind was making it more pleasant during the warmest hours.

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I stayed at Fata Morgana Studio and Apartments, a lovely complex situated 1 km outside the main village, on a cliff. My accommodation was perfect: I had a studio room with air-conditioning and fan, a terrace in the middle of a romantic garden and sea view.

If you prefer a more “central” accommodation – even if, I admit, this might be funny in terms of the village -, my parents were staying at Milos apartment, that have more or less the same facilities and a direct access to the beach. There you can also rent small stones mill in the old harbor!

From Fata Morgana, to get to the main part of the village, you can either walk along the coast toward the castle or take the car from the main road – parking was definitely not an issue, but in the morning I preferred having my power walk before staring my day.

Just nearby, there are two main beaches: Orthi Ammos – that is very natural and suggestive, and the main beach in the village, where you can find also sunbeds and umbrellas (one day, 5 euro).

Beaches are calm and children friendly and taverns to get your drinks and food are few steps away.

The village in fact does not lack of places to enjoy the local cuisine: in the morning, I usually took my breakfast at Maria’s bakery, just next to the castle, where you can have local snacks or croissant, together with fresh juices and the usual freddo espresso or frappe’ (an ice drink prepared with Nestcafe that is apparently very popular in Crete).

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For lunch, my favorite place was Kali Kardia, with its covered terrace and home made food. The average spent for a meal there is around 10 euro per person, including beer or wine, Greek appetizers, fruit and raki. You just have to remember you are on holidays and you have to relax. People are taking it very slowly and this was one of the things I enjoyed most.

For dinner, we usually went to Mylos Taverna, located in the small harbor of the village, or to Fata Morgana, on the cliff opposite my apartment. In both food was authentic, portions big and atmosphere characteristic.

For a romantic dinner, the perfect place was Taverna Ammos, located at the edge of the village.

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My favorite dishes during the vacation included “fava”, a mashed fava beans appetizer similar to hummus prepared with olive oil and onions, “Cretan salad”, a Greek salad plus some rusk bread, potatoes and Mizithra cheese and “Bifteki”, minced meat filled with cheese.

I have to say, we eat quite often at Greek restaurants in Luxembourg and even at the good ones, the quality of the food is far from the one I had in Crete. In particular, there are some foods I don’t normally eat in Luxembourg – first among them, the wine leaves stuffed with rice, dolmades, that indeed in Frangokastelllo were delicious.

With the food, we had plenty of raki, typical Retsina wine and Mythos beer.

I visited a bit around, including a scary trip down from Kallikatris village on one of the most dangerous road of the region – but I survived! – and to Rethymno, that is the third largest town in Crete and it is famous for its Venetian fortress – go there in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the warmest hours.

We  also spent some days in Chania, a vivid city, quite touristic, with a romantic harbor, a picturesque old Town and some nice shops. We stayed in front of Neo Chora beach, just off the main city center, and we were quite satisfied, but I have to say, if I could change my plans, I would have spent more days in Frangokastello, as it was ways more relaxing, typical and authentic.

I was busy for the wedding, so I had to limit my daily trips, but the region offers much more to see, including Samaria and Imbros gorges, if you are up for some trekking, Ellafonissi beach, Chora Sfakion village – from where you can arrange some nice boat trips.

My vacations in Frangokastello were extremely pleasant and we are planning to come back next year already. The summer is very long in Crete, so don’t be afraid to book there from May to October!

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Singapore Sling

img_5782 img_5780 img_5784 IMG_5786 IMG_5787 IMG_5789 IMG_5783 IMG_5630 IMG_5790 IMG_5791 IMG_5793 IMG_5794 IMG_5643 IMG_5795 IMG_5796 IMG_5797 IMG_5645 IMG_5657 IMG_5801 IMG_5711 IMG_5798 IMG_5800 IMG_5804 IMG_5805 IMG_5806 IMG_5807 IMG_5808 IMG_5802So – finally the tricky period got over. Some months ago, my former company decided to relocated us abroad and we actually accepted, to discover lately some huge issues – without going into details – around that.

Therefore we stepped out and after some depressing weeks back and forward from recruiters and interviews, I got a brand new contract to sign.

My new job adventure started with a trip to Asia – Singapore and Bangkok -. I have never been to Asia before so I was pretty excited!

Unfortunately, time schedule, jet lag and work commitments, I did not have much time this time to visit around, but I will be back there soon, so I hope to make it up!

Indeed – I ate a lot 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

So what’s better than starting this new chapter with a food porn post 🙂

Singapore is a very nice city – international, clean and safe. I was staying in River Valley area and had mainly Japanese food around there.

Things I loved most about the city where:

  • The pretty good level of services
  • The amazing landscapes
  • The safeness and cleanness of the city

Things I liked a bit less:

  • Getting a cab at pick hours without booking in advance was a real mess
  • Most of the people walked around looking at their mobile, so sad
  • The weather was so humid

I didn’t not like Bangkok the same – while my office area was posh and very (too much) European, I was not impressed by the small I have seen around – maybe I was just very tired.

Hope you enjoyed this series of pictures, more reviews about Luxembourg are coming soon 🙂

Corie goes to Frankfurt: Food Porn Alert

Differently from most of my fellow bloggers, I am not a fan of Christmas period.
The reason behind has nothing very sentimental but the fact that December is one of the busiest month for me at work. I have to prepare for boards, have tons to reviews to be done before year-end and I travel pretty much to other offices for meetings.
When I was younger, I loved travelling for work. It means having laundry-fresh clothes for weeks, no needs to wash dishes or cook, restaurants and drinks each and every night on company’s expenses. Becoming older, it started being less attractive to me. I work for a kind of lads-only company, where small talks during lunch or dinners are mainly related to company’s matters or silly sports I don’t even understand or musicians that were already too old when I was born. If I stay for a short week, like in this case, I tend not to use laundry service at the hotel, that means when I am back I have at least 5 washing machine cycles to run – considering my husband doesn’t even know how to plug in the washing machine, I have also to take care of the clothes he did not wash during my absence – and the dirty dishes and the empty fridge.
And business dinners.. oh, fancy places, nice wines, delicious food.. but have you ever had breakfast, lunch and dinner out for a week, an entire week? – not during a vacation, but having to work in the meanwhile? Sometimes I just wish I can stay in for one night and skip the social part of the work – I don’t like to be social at work, I am sorry.
Short story long – I was busy and I am a bit behind on my blog postings schedule, I am sorry for that! My series “What to” and “Barefoot in Luxembourg meets people” will be regularly back next week.

In the meanwhile, please enjoy some random pictures of the amazing food I had in Frankfurt this week.

You will find picture from Charlot (City Center area, Old Opera House), The Ivory Club, Belluga and Mediterraneo (both in Eschborn), Best Western Plus (Schwalbach).

Enjoy!

 

  
  
  
  

Veiner Nëssmoort – Nutmarket in Vianden

It was a week-end full of events and a couple of pictures-only posts will come, between today and tomorrow, as I am so excited to show you how many beautiful things we have in Luxembourg!

Yesterday, while apparently everybody went to Rotondes for the Food Trucks Festival, we decided to head to Vianden for the usual Nutmarket (read more here). It was a great decision as the weather was amazing and I love the colors of the North of Luxembourg during autumn!

The festival was packed as usual, but we managed to have some great food (I had potatoes with speck and flaamkuchen) and drinks quite easily as we arrived pretty early.

My husband didn’t want to drink but stocked up sausages, nuts bread and nuts for the next year 🙂

My love for the pictoresque village of Vianden and for the bubbling nuts market were even increased by the visit. I am really looking forward to come back there soon during another sunny-week end.


  
  
  

What to do this week end: Vianden Nut Market (Veiner Nessmoort)

The Nut Market in Vianden (“Veiner Nessmoort“) is one of those events I tend never to skip in Luxembourg (like the National Party and the Schueberfouer).
If you have never been there, you are lucky enough, because the festivity is going to be exactly this Sunday, October 11th – and normally each and every year takes place usually the second Sunday of October, along Vianden Gran-Rue.
The small village of Vianden, in the North of Luxembourg, that with its castle is already very suggestive and romantic, becomes for one day a huge fair place, with activities for kids and adults, music, drinks and a lot of traditional food, most of which prepared with nuts.
The Nut Market is starting in the morning, around 10 am, and there will be stands with nuts, products made with nuts (oh, try the nuts bread or the nuts pate’ please and tell me you don’t love them!). There will be stands selling the traditional Nut Liquor (Nëssdrëpp or Nut-Schnaps, made with still-green nuts put in the brandy), and as usual Luxembourgish biers and sausages, Spätzle, flammkuchen and potatoes. For the kids, there will be stands with music and activities and they can buy them the small pot of nuts, wrapped in the traditional red hanky, to bring home.

Some hints:

Try to arrive not too late (12ish is already a good deal) and park at the P+R (Park&Ride) before getting to Vianden city center. The village will be crowded and most of the area will be only pedestrian for the day (Gran-Rue and Rue de La Gare will be closed until 7 pm). From the P+R there will be a bus shuttle that will deposit you just in the middle of the party, at Mont St. Nicolas, located at the footsteps of the castle. The shuttle is free. If you decide to stop before and park at the Camping du Moulin in the valley, Benni, the famous touristic train of Vianden, will drop you at the main bus station in the Lower-Town of Vianden.

Take cash with you. There is only one ATM – cash machine in Vianden city center and normally it is always packed or out of order. Most of the stands are not accepting credit cards and at that point will be too late to go somewhere else to withdraw money. Count not only the cash you would need for your lunch/snack and drinks, but also for “take away products” you would be glad to have bought (bottles of nut liquor for Christmas or nut salami to keep in the fridge and surprise your guests).

Have a sober driver. With biers and nut liquors, you might be tempted to drink a glass too much. While drinking and driving is always not a good idea, in this case it can be particularly dangerous, as controls out of the village will be going on all day long to avoid accidents on the pretty long way back to the city.

– If you are (or you feel) young, after you visit the market, had your sausage and your bier, you can move down to the river side, where one of the bar down the main bridge, Auberge de l’Our, arranges a great after party with mojito, champagne and disco music.

Have fun then & send us your best pictures of the Nessmoort – these are some of mine from previous years!

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Lanzarote bites

I am just back in Luxembourg after two chaotic weeks of holidays and now, just in front of my office windows, the most chaotic event in Luxembourg ever is taking place – the summer Braderie. I have a wedding and funeral band playing louder than my printer and a pile of posts to open. So, the laziest, I decided what would be better than looking back at my vacation pictures?

We had great time in Lanzarote, the island is amazing – something totally different from what you have seen so far – and you can spend days visiting around. Or you can just lay in the sun, eat and drink. We tried to do both of them, indeed, and I have to admit the quality of the food and drinks was above my expectations.

Enjoy this gallery and have a lovely week.

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